RAF Goxhill

RAF Goxhill

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I today, visited Goxhill, a small village in North Lincolnshire in England. A lovely, quiet little village just off the humber with the humber bridge in site. Goxhill may be small, however it does hold one piece of history very close to its chest, and that is the mostly unheard of - RAF Goxhill.

Royal Air Force Goxhill or more simply RAF Goxhill is a former Royal Air Force station located east of Goxhill, on the south bank of the Humber estuary, opposite the city of Kingston upon Hull, in north Lincolnshire, England.

During the First World War a Royal Flying Corps landing ground existed near the Lincolnshire village of Goxhill. In 1940 the Air Ministry returned to survey the land once again for its suitability as an airfield.


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Goxhill was originally used as a barrage balloon site to protect the port of Hull and the River Humber. In 1940, Goxhill was transferred to RAF Bomber Command and was planned and rebuilt as a bomber airfield. The base was equipped with three intersecting runways, the main runway at 1600 yards and two secondary runways of 1100 yards. Three hangars were built - two T-2’s, one J-Type and four blisters and fifty aircraft hardstands. Temporary accommodation was provided for 1700+ personnel.

Its location, however, was too close to the air defences of Hull to be used for that purpose. Its first occupant was No. 1 Group that took up residence on 26 June 1941. The mission of No. 1 Group was towing practice targets with Westland Lysanders, its first operation beginning on 25 October.

In December 1941, RAF Fighter Command replaced the Bomber Command training unit with No. 12 Group, flying Supermarine Spitfires from No. 616 Squadron at RAF Kirton in Lindsey. Fighter Command operated the base until May 1942.

USAF Took over RAF Goxhill in August 1942

The airfield was relegated to satellite field use by RAF Kirmington until August 1942, when it was taken over by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). The transfer ceremony was attended by General Dwight D. Eisenhower. During the Second World War it was known as USAAF Station 345.

The facilities at Goxhill, however, had a lot to be desired. Three wooden barracks were supplemented by a number of metal fabricated buildings (aka: tin cans) for living quarters. Typical of the temporary RAF station of that period, living quarters and mess facilities were 1 – 2 miles from the hangars and flight operations area because of safety.

The station was unofficially known by the USAAF units based here as “GoatHill”. The USAAF used Goxhill as a training airfield though the balance of the war, with several squadrons using it after their initial deployment to the UK, then moving on to a permanent facility for their operational missions.

USAAF Station Units assigned to RAF Goxhill were:[1]

333d Service Group[2]
332d Service Squadron’; HHS 333d Service Group
13th Station Complement Squadron
18th Weather Squadron
2nd Gunnery & Tow Target Flight
1004th Signal Company
1148th Quartermaster Company
1275th Military Police Company
1771st Ordnance Supply & Maintenance Company
2130th Engineer Fire Fighting Platoon

20 July 1942 of P-38 Lightnings, including (serial number 41-7631) of the 1st Fighter Group at Goxhill.

Sergeant Elwin D. Phillips, Lieutenant Sidney Hewitt, Staff Sergeant Michael Yahawk and a colleague, of the 361st Fighter Squadron, 356th Fighter Group stand with Hewitt’s P-47 Thunderbolt (QI-F, serial number 42-74702) nicknamed “Clarkie” at Goxhill, 1943.

A P-51B Mustang of the 354th Fighter Group at Goxhill, 1944.

A Spitfire Mk. Va (C7-M, serial number W3815) of the 555th Fighter Training Squadron, 496th Fighter Training Group at Goxhill, 1944.

Both the USAAF 8th and 9th Air Force utilized Goxhill.

But what now?

On 20 January 1945, the USAAF returned Goxhill to RAF control, and it was assigned as a satellite to RAF Kirton In Lindsey.

Not much remains of RAF Goxhill. Closed in 1962, and handed to farmers for agricultural work

Now at the former site of RAF Goxhill, Not much stands in the place of the former airfield, other than a memorial and an information plaque. The once active runways are now long fields, with only the silhouette of its former glory seen from above. Oh and of course a guard gate bunker!


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Now this is not just an information post, its a little bit more…

Next to the Memorial stone and the information board, there was a new little piece of history added into the mix. Now I have visited this site many a time, during my upbringing, but till today I haven’t ever noticed this…

This sign, explains, of how in its prime, RAF Goxhill had a control tower. Yet, unlike the rest of the base, the tower wasn’t demolished, or damaged during the areal bombardment of the war. This Control tower, now lives, in Virginia, USA.

Now I have not been fortunate to visit the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia, USA. But have you? - I would love to be able to come back, and share with the villagers a photo of where their control tower is now. Not just a google stock image, but a photo with a story.

Goxhill, is a wonderful little village, nothing special, but it has a history. I hope that this post, opens your eyes, as it has me, to how each little area of our little country, played its part in our freedom and helped to paint the picture of past time military aviation both here and across the pound.

I Hope you have enjoyed, this post, and please feel free to PM or comment any questions.

[details= Drone videos from RAF Goxhill and the Aviation Museum in Virginia,USA. ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHvHEKWSNLE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WapLpYuYz8E

Video Credits: Richard Lawson and ‘Watchers of the Planes’ respectively.

[/details]

Lest we forget’

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Nice topic, keep doing good posts like this

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Thanks Daz, Glad you enjoyed!

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This was MAGNIFICENT
Keep up the good work @LouDon16 !

Awesome, I definitely loved how you clearly presented and informed the [Infinite Flight Community] () on additional information pertaining to the Royal Air Force Goxhill station with beautifully accurate text formatting accompanied by some wonderful images of the base itself!

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Great post! I enjoy visiting old airfields, close to where I live in the New Forest are three good examples that you can visit,

RAF Beaulieu

RAF STONEY CROSS ( my favourite, from the ground you can walk majority of the runwys, taxiways, find the hard standings etc)

RAF HOLMSEY SOUTH

all three are now managed by the forestry commission and you can visit or even stay at the campsites on them! (Which I have done!).

What a great topic. Looking forward to more!

Oh wow, that sounds fascinating! I did some reading up on RAF Holmsley South whilst researching Goxhill.

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We camped there over the Easter Weekend. The campsite is around the old aircraft “panhandles” to the north of the airfield and you can walk around the old runways and taxi ways. Apart from the ponies you can imiginevitbwas still an active place! STONEY cross is a bit more interesting to discover if walking or on a bike. Part of one runway is now a road and some of the taxiways have also been used as roads. When global is released we should be able to see these fields as we fly over! When at HOLMSEY you are on the final approach to Bournemouth airport so you see plenty of Ryanair, Thomas Cook and EasyJet.

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UPDATE -

RAF Goxhill watch office reopens in US

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The former RAF Goxhill watch office has been rebuilt in Virginia using the original features and materials after the building was dismantled brick by brick in 2003.

An RAF building which was dismantled and moved to the US is to reopen after it was rebuilt in Virginia.
Goxhill was the first RAF site handed to the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) in 1942. The station was used by the Americans as a training base.

The site’s watch office was later acquired by the Military Aviation Museum in 2003, before being taken down brick by brick and shipped to Virginia Beach.

It is due to open on Saturday.
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https://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/104DA/production/_96087766_watchoffice.jpg

The historic building stood dilapidated in Goxhill after its closure in 1953 until it was acquired and removed by the Military Aviation Museum in 2003

Construction of the historic building started in 2014. The interior is also set to be returned to its original state, Mr Potter said.

Museum Director Mike Potter said the tower was “something of a shrine to many visitors, and it is a distinct honour to be able to offer guests the only experience of its type in our country”.

“The entire control tower was taken apart and transported, right down to the brickwork and the loos. The door and window frames were rusted beyond re-tasking, but the original manufacturer in the UK, Crittall, was able to remake those designs from the original specifications.”

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When completed, the rooms will display WWII memorabilia including letters from RAF and USAAF personnel, Mr Potter says.

He said the components were kept in storage and after three years of “painstaking” reconstruction using original features, the building is to welcome visitors in a special event celebrating the 75th anniversary of the station’s US handover.

Mr Potter said the interior would also be returned to its original condition with the rooms displaying wartime memorabilia including photographs and letters from RAF and USAAF servicemen.

But he expects it to “take several years” before it is fully completed.

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A ceremony was held at Goxhill to mark the US handover of the Watch Office, which was attended by General Dwight D Eisenhower who would later become the 34th US president.

The reconstruction was aided by the Airfield Research Group (ARG) charity, which sent architectural details including plans, drawings and photos.

Chairman Paul Francis said: "It is brilliant, the museum should be applauded for what they have achieved. “We are proud to have been involved with its restoration.”

The airfield was transferred back to the RAF in 1945 and the tower remained derelict after it closed in 1953.

More Details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-39935976

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